snow removal

ischool.syr.edu

The city of Syracuse is turning to tech-savvy residents for new ways to make snow clearing more efficient with GPS-tracked plows.  Syracuse is partnering with Syracuse University's iSchool and AT&T to launch the “Plowing Through the Data” Hack-A-Thon, an initiative to publicize data on the routes plows take throughout the city.  The city’s Chief Data Officer Sam Edelstein says the data will allow residents to offer new ways to tackle street clearing.

Chris Bolt / WAER News

Central New York is preparing for some significant snowfall Wednesday, and the City of Syracuse is asking those who live and work in the city to do their part to keep roads and sidewalks clear.  About 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected to fall between late Wednesday morning into the evening.  Director of Operations Corey Driscoll Dunham says the plows need space to do their work.

With another winter storm bearing down on Central New York, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced a plan Friday to ensure timely snow removal from city-owned sidewalks and to urge residents to follow ordinances requiring them to do the same. 

The Mayor says he and leaders of the city are committed to:

a snow-covered sidewalk with footprints marking how many people have struggled to walk along the path
Scott Willis / WAER News

Another attempt to fine Syracuse property owners who don’t clear the snow from their sidewalks has failed in the Common Council.  The vote was 7 to 2 against beefing up a snow removal ordinance to include a warning, followed by a $50 fine for those who don’t comply.  

The measure would have applied only to primary routes and those near schools, and might have included some discretion for the elderly or those with disabilities.  Councilor Bob Dougherty understands the concern, and had hoped to work with community and school groups to arrange volunteers to help:

Scott Willis / WAER News

 Syracuse homeowners might soon be a little more diligent about shoveling their sidewalks during the next snowfall.  But that all depends on how Monday goes – when Syracuse Common Councilors vote on whether the city should impose a $100 fine for homeowners who fail to clear their sidewalks.   Common Councilor Bob Dougherty revived and helped amend the legislation.  Dougherty knows the ordinance is controversial, but feels the city needs to start somewhere to get compliance.  Common councilor Kathleen Joy feels fines are the wrong approach.